What if discrimination on the basis of age were as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice? Ashton Applewhite is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making age a criterion for diversity. The author of This Chair Rocks and a TED2017 mainstage speaker, she reveals the untapped possibilities of late life—in our communities, at work, and in ourselves.
In her candid talks—as she does on her blog, This Chair Rocks, and her Q&A Tumblr, Yo, Is This Ageist? – Ashton debunks our culture’s most pervasive myths about getting older. And with her funny, straight-talking approach (showcased on the TED2017 MainStage – where she received a standing ovation), audiences realize the often-overlooked benefits of advanced age, championing the need for greater age-based diversity in the workplace and our institutions.
In 2016, Applewhite joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. She has been recognized by The New York Times, NPR, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She has written for Harper’s, Playboy, and The New York Times. And she speaks widely, at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to the Library of Congress and the United Nations.
Her first serious book, Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well, was published by HarperCollins in 1997. It was inspired by the puzzlement: why was our notion of women’s lives after divorce so different from the happy and energized reality? Ms. magazine called it “rocket fuel for launching new lives.”